Core Nigeria

Institutionalising innovation to help maintain and transform essential primary healthcare services in Nigeria through the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Innovating for Primary Healthcare Services During COVID-19

Core Nigeria serves as a human-centered design (HCD) collaboration and learning platform. The project supports Nigerian health system actors in delivering essential primary healthcare services in the context of COVID-19, while also identifying transformational strategies to improve systems and services beyond the pandemic.

The team collaborates with Nigerian partners who are already adapting and innovating primary healthcare services in immediate response to COVID-19, facilitating their use of HCD methods and tools in the innovation process. The project also aims to build partners’ skills and knowledge in applying HCD to future public health challenges by demonstrating the added value of placing people at the centre of programme and intervention design.

Core Nigeria’s Approach

Core Nigeria works through three elements: Design Clinic, Virtual Network, and HCD Basics, conducted in partnership with federal and state government, Scope Impact, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) Nigeria, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Nigeria country office.

Design Clinic

Design Clinic teams in Lagos and Niger states are taking a learning-by-doing approach to HCD, applying design methods and tools to tackle specific healthcare challenges in their regions. With design mentoring support from Core Nigeria, state teams work through the phases of HCD, from conducting participatory design research to co-creating, testing, and refining people-centred solution concepts.

Both teams are focused on sustaining primary healthcare service quality and utilisation during the pandemic. The Design Clinic results in two innovative solutions that have the potential to be rapidly implemented to improve service delivery. Design Clinic teams are composed of representatives from the state ministries of health and Primary Health Care Development Agency/Board and CHAI Nigeria.

Virtual Network 

Core Nigeria’s Virtual Network brings together actors and organisations working in primary healthcare to meet one another and gain introductory knowledge of HCD tools and methods. Network members will form a community of practice to continue collaborating, sharing knowledge, and exploring how they can incorporate HCD into programme design to improve primary healthcare services during and after the pandemic. 

The Virtual Network consists of a diverse base of stakeholders including state and federal government representatives, non-governmental organisations, and donors. Nigerian design community members will also engage with the Virtual Network, sharing insights and expertise. Network sessions will also link with Design Clinic phases so that members can follow and learn from the clinic’s progress.

HCD Basics

HCD Basics is a free, self-directed, and introductory e-learning course on human-centered design (HCD) for public health professionals, developed by Scope Impact in collaboration with partners as part of the Core Nigeria project. The course content is linked to a public health context and is complementary to Core Nigeria’s Virtual Network and Design Clinic, but it also serves as a standalone course that is suitable for anyone interested in understanding HCD and applying the innovation process to their work.

Participants are guided through six modules that deepen their knowledge of the HCD process, learn how it can benefit public health programmes, and receive practical tips on how to apply it. Learners completing all modules will receive a certificate. HCD Basics is located on the Kaleidoscope online learning platform, where, in addition to signing up for the course, HCD tools and resources can be accessed by anyone interested in using them in participatory programme design.

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